Creator Corner: Author Maureen Fergus and Illustrator Danesh Mohiuddin

Welcome to Creator Corner, a blog series where we interview the creators of our recent books. For this post, we interviewed Princess Pru and the Switcheroo author Maureen Fergus and illustrator Danesh Mohiuddin! This second instalment of the Princess Pru series is publishing April 15, 2024!

Owlkids Books: Maureen, what inspired Oggy and Pru’s second adventure?

Maureen Fergus: I loved the idea that in the first book, Pru was the only one in town who didn’t assume that Oggy was horrible just because he was an ogre. She made the effort to get to know him and in doing so, she made a good friend. But it occurred to me that someone like Pru, who has such a big heart, might be a bit oblivious to the fact that she gets treated better than Oggy just because she’s a princess. I think that even good people are sometimes not aware of their privilege, and I wanted to write a story where Pru learns firsthand how the world is different for ogres compared to princesses.

Owlkids Books: Danesh, which spread did you most enjoy illustrating and why?

Danesh Mohiuddin: I really loved drawing the spread where Princess Pru has to adventure through a series of tough landscapes to make it to Oggy and the dragon. There were just so many fun things to draw! All the different creatures and environments flown into one spread really made it a delightful process.

OKB: Maureen, what was the most enjoyable part of writing this book?

MF: I loved writing about Oggy dressing up like Pru and fooling “her” dads. I always love making the adults in the story dolts, and the idea of the kings being overjoyed that “Pru” is finally eating her stewed spinach made me laugh.

OKB: Danesh, which spread was the most challenging to illustrate and why?

DM: The one where Princess Pru spends the day and night in the Ogre’s house, with the viewpoint being a bird’s eye. This was just a difficult page to draw technically speaking (difficult perspective), and then it was also a tough page to color as it transitions from day to night (I wanted to show this in a subtle way).

OKB: Maureen, what was the most challenging part of writing this book?

MF: Trying to get my message across in a fun way. Being aware of and honest about your own privilege is serious business—I wanted to be respectful about that while still giving readers reasons to laugh.

OKB: Danesh, Pru and Oggy undergo hilarious makeovers in this book. How did you approach layering traits of one character onto another?

DM: I really just swapped their outfits and hairstyles (including eyebrows)… At one point I was debating also switching their skin colours (The Ogre is grey, and the Princess light brown) but then decided against it. With their natural size difference, clearly they are not fooling anyone, but just the audacity to do this and get away with it in the world of the book is hilarious.

OKB: What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

MF: I hope that it will be a springboard for discussions about privilege. What does it look like? Why does it happen? What can we do about it?

DM: The grass is always greener on the other side! I think that’s the main message. When you get a glimpse of another person’s situation on a superficial level, it’s more enviable. But when you get to experience it in detail, then you really appreciate what you have. In the age of social media, where people present their lives as if they were perfect, this book is especially relevant.

OKB: If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would it be?

MF: My oldest daughter is an underwater photographer in the Caribbean, so I’d probably switch places with her (especially when it’s winter in Winnipeg!)

DM: I would love to be an NBA player. I’ve always loved sports, so I’m curious what it would be like to be a professional athlete.


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